Precision rifle shooting competitions to come to Iqaluit

Iqaluit's shooting range at the end of the Road to Nowhere. (CBC - image credit)
Iqaluit's shooting range at the end of the Road to Nowhere. (CBC - image credit)

Rifle shooters in Iqaluit will finally have a chance to show off their skills in a recreational competition.

The Canadian Rimfire Precision Series (CRPS) will be holding four matches at the shooting range at the end of the Road to Nowhere this summer and fall.

The first competition, scheduled for July 20, will mark the first time CRPS has held a meet in Nunavut, said local sport shooter Liam Burrows

"It's hugely exciting," Burrows said. "I love this sport. It's been a big part of my life for 25 years."

Liam Burrows is a sport shooter who lives in Iqaluit.
Liam Burrows is a sport shooter who lives in Iqaluit.

Liam Burrows is a sport shooter who lives in Iqaluit. (Carl Cardinal/CBC)

This month's competition will require participants to use .22-calibre long rifles. They will stand in one spot and try to hit up to 10 steel targets that will be placed between roughly 23 and 91 metres downrange, all within two minutes.

"It's a very dynamic, very challenging course of fire that tests peoples' marksmanship and their ability to develop a stable shooting position in the time limits," said CRPS Founder and Director Rick Katigbak.

Burrows, who helped bring the matches to Iqaluit and will serve as the director of the matches, says the competitions can also be used to hone people's shooting skills before they go hunting.

Rick Katigbak is the founder and director of the Canadian Rimfire Precision Series.
Rick Katigbak is the founder and director of the Canadian Rimfire Precision Series.

Rick Katigbak is the founder and director of the Canadian Rimfire Precision Series. (Rick Katigbak/LinkedIn)

"You're learning to shoot from different positions under time pressure, in challenging ways at different ranges and quickly changing between all this stuff," he said. "It's going to be really good for our local community as well [with people] becoming more proficient and ultimately safer on the land with their rifles because they're gonna know how to do some more of these things."

"Safety is a big part of this sport."

CRPS competitions have been held across Canada, with the first match in 2018 in Ontario.

Katigbak says rimfire competitions have "exploded in the last couple of years."

Through the competitions, 12 people have gone on to represent Canada at last year's International Precision Rifle Federation .22LR World Championships in Collazzone, Italy.

For the Iqaluit competitions, Katigbak says each meet will be different and the shooters will have to adapt to different circumstances.

"The positions are different, round counts are different, the target sizes and distances are different, the engagement sequences are different."

Rifle shooters at the shooting range in Iqaluit.
Rifle shooters at the shooting range in Iqaluit.

Rifle shooters at the shooting range in Iqaluit. (CBC)

The remaining three competitions in Iqaluit will be held on August 17, September 21 and October 12.

Burrows is also hoping to set up a similar competition for next year's Toonik Tyme Festival.

"I'm working with two very large Canadian firearms companies and we're looking at what we can do for a larger-scale event," he said.